Traveling out of town for a wedding can be a lot of hassle. But, there are still ways you can save some dollars on your trip. As soon as you know the wedding date, start looking at prices. Sometimes you can save money by booking very early, and sometimes you have to wait a few months for those knockout prices. Here are some ideas for you to save a few bucks:
If the bride and groom have set up a block room rate, it’s definitely something worth looking into. However, there are other options for finding a nearby hotel that would save you money. Make sure to consider that if they have a shuttle from the hotel other guests are staying in, you may want to take advantage of that so you’re not driving yourself to and from the ceremony. Some weddings are held more than 20 minutes away, so keep that in mind when selecting hotels.
I’ve heard nothing but great feedback lately about using AirBnB, especially for international housing. It’s typically about a quarter of the cost of hotels and you get a free $25 credit if you sign up using this link – in some places, that’s enough for a free night! 🙂
Sometimes, it just makes more sense to fly. Flights can be quite expensive, but if do your research and check all of your options, you can save some money.
I like to check flight prices using Google Flights and the Matrix Flight Software. Both show you the lowest prices available through the airlines, but Matrix allows you to search surrounding dates and cities more easily.
You can also try your hand at getting free flights through travel hacking, but make sure you know what you’re doing before signing up for too many credit cards.
If you’re driving instead of flying, you may want to see if you can’t get a great deal on a rental car to drive down in. Most companies offer unlimited mileage on vehicles and if it’s cheap enough, you can probably save quite a bit of wear and tear on your personal car. Weekend trips usually work great for this. Plus, they usually only rent cars that are 3 years old or newer, so there is a lower likelihood of it breaking down on the way (and you’re not stuck with the repair bill). This is not the case if you use Rent-a-Wreck, or another very, very budget company, in which case the car could be much older.
I typically rent with Hertz, because I find that they have quality service and the prices are usually low. Now, in some cases you will not find this to be true. However, I am very compulsive about checking car prices for trips. As soon as I have a general idea of the dates I’ll be traveling, I immediately find the lowest car rental and book it. Generally, these reservations are allowed to be cancelled (as long as they aren’t prepaid), and rebooked at any time before you travel. Make sure you use a promotion code when booking with Hertz, this can usually save about $15-$30 off the rental cost.
Once it’s booked, I check prices continuously until the day I travel. Sometimes the prices drop about a month out, sometimes it’s closer to the actual date.
If you’re a AAA Member, you get a discount and can get free Hertz Gold service so you can save up points for a future free rental, and you get to pick up the keys and leave without having to go through registration each time you rent.
Another tip would be to look at the rental car locations outside of the airport you’re flying into. When renting from the airport, there are usually higher fees added to the rental. I’ve seen it where the airport rental for the week would be $550, and a location about 2 miles away was only $325 for the week. Heck, I would definitely cough up money for a quick cab ride there and back if I were saving $175! But, there are times when its cheaper at the airport because of promotions, so you just have to check both.
Traveling out of town for a wedding can be expensive, but there are options for you to save some money. Make your plans early, shop around, and don’t prepay unless you are 180% sure you are going and nothing will happen between now and then. 🙂 Good luck!
In case you missed it, read my article about how I survived the wedding season this year.